China's plans for artificial moon by 2020

25 October, 2018, 02:44 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • Full moon over Qinhaul River in Nanjing Jiangsu China

Chengdu, a city in the country's southwestern Sichuan province, is now working on developing artificial "illumination satellites", which will go up there and shine eight times more brightly than the moon, informed China Daily.

Once launched, the artificial moon will orbit much closer to Earth than the real moon.

It's hoped the light source will replace streetlamps and lower exorbitant electricity costs in the country's rural areas.

Amazingly, scientists believe that the artificial moon will be eight times brighter than the actual moon, however, to humans on Earth, the brightness will be less than normal street lights.

The paper added that testing the illumination satellite started years ago and all the technology and design had been finalized.

The space craft will have a mirror reflector to catch the sun's rays from space when the city is in darkness and will bounce them down to Earth.

The angles of these wings can then be adjusted to allow the light to focus on a precise location, Asia Times reported.

China is launching an artificial moon to replace streetlights.


"But this is not enough to light up the entire night sky", said Wu Chunfeng, head of Tian Fu New Area Science Society in Chengdu.

The city of Chengdu is one of the most populous cities in China with about 10 million urban citizens. On this regard, Wu notes that the tests will only be done in uninhabited deserts where it will not interfere with any people. The Chengdu launch is the forerunner to another launch in 2022, when three more man-made moons are planned to be transported more than 300 miles above Earth. Artificial light affects migration, navigation, plant blooming and when trees lose their leaves.

Wu said several universities and institutes, including Harbin Institute of Technology and China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, have evaluated the man-made moon project and given it their approval for trial and demonstration. "When the satellite is in operation, people will see only a bright star above, and not a giant moon as imagined".

The moon is less reflective than Earth, reflecting only 3 to 12 percent of the sunlight that falls on its surface, while Earth reflects about 42 percent.

The mirrors will launch from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province before the end of the year.

The company SpaceX Elon musk will orbit the satellite, which is seen from Earth is its only goal.

"This potentially creates significant new environmental problems with what, at first, seems like a novel approach to an already solved problem", said John Barentine, the director of public policy at the International Dark-Sky Association.

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